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Kolkata, Chennaiyin FC play to a goal-less draw

By EMN Updated: Nov 15, 2014 12:03 am

Kolkata, November 14

Atletico de Kolkata and Chennaiyin FC played out a 0-0 draw at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata on Friday evening. This was the fourth consecutive draw for both teams as they once again failed to pick full points.
Luis Garcia came closest as his free-kick came off the crossbar around the hour mark while Balwant Siingh saw his goal being disallowed as the ball brushed his hand on the way in.The visitors could have drawn first blood in the fifth minute itself after Elano and Mendoza exchanged an exquisite one-two just outside the box with the latter darting into the box. The Colombian could have easily gone down into the box after Josemi’s trailing leg caught him but he chose to stay on his feet and managed to take a shot which was blocked. The danger was cleared eventually by Biswajit Saha much to the relief of the home crowd.
Luis Garcia’s delightful layoff found Fikru running down the middle. The Ethiopian then showed tremendous vision to flick the ball back which fell perfectly to Ofentse Nato who had made a timely run. Nato returned the favour as his through ball found Fikru in tons of space only for him to smash it just wide in the 21st minute.
In a match devoid of much goal mouth action with Chennaiyin playing with three centre backs in Gouramangi Moirangthem, Mikael Silvestre and Materazzi, a neat interplay between Biswajit Saha and Jofre on the left almost found an unmarked Fikru at the near post only for Gennaro Bracigliano to come out and gather.
After a lengthy break as one section of the Yuba Bharati Krirangan lights went off, the southern side had a delightful opportunity to break the deadlock in the 44th minute. Mendoza was the architect as he won the ball outside the box before playing a fine through ball to set Dane Pereira free on the right whose cross at the far post found Elano only for his downward header to elicit a reflex save from Subhasish Roy Chowdhury in goal.
It was Subhasish who came to his team’s rescue about ten minutes into the second half when he pounced on a Elano through pass with Balwant just inches away from putting his foot to it.
Just three minutes later, Jofre showed brilliant close control as he dribbled past three Chennaiyin players in Harmanjot Singh Khabra, Djemba-Djemba and Denson Devadas before narrowly dragging his shot wide.
On the hour mark, Garcia produced an Elano-esque freekick as he curled it past the wall only to find the crossbar come in the way, with Bracigliano a mere spectator. This was after referee Pratap Singh wrongly awarded a free-kick for an alleged foul by Silvestre on Fikru on the edge of the box.
The Atletico front three combined ever so well on the 70th minute as Fikru sent Garcia on his way down the middle who flicked a ball over to Jofre who had made a diagonal run into the box on the left. Jofre’s blocked shot fell to the former Liverpool player whose low shot went straight to a grateful Bracigliano.
Elano’s free kick from the left was spilled by Subhasish only to see Arnab clear it out of danger.
Balwant was gifted a goal on a plate on the 80th minute, after substitute Jean-Eudes Maurice got past Biswajit Saha and found the Indian international with an empty net staring at him. He however, made a meal of it as the ball touched his hand before going in, with the goal being disallowed thereafter.
The score-line remained the same until the end as neither side could breach the opposition defense. Atletico de Kolkata continue to lead the Indian Super League (ISL) table while Chennaiyin FC are level on points with the Kolkata outfit but are second only on an inferior goal difference.

By EMN Updated: Nov 15, 2014 12:03:47 am